If you’ve recently stopped by AZZIP in Owensboro, you’ve probably been greeted by their newest employee.
“I’m sure he’s bringing a little more excitement than a lot of us bring to the job honestly,” says Allan Huntsman, AZZIP General Manager.
20-year-old Lukas Mahoney started his new job last week.
“I wipe down tables and I make up pizzas,” says Mahoney.
He’s the second person to be employed through the Western Kentucky Unified Employment Program which the Green River Area Down Syndrome Association launched in August.
“We really want each of our adults with down syndrome to find their place as far as in terms of career,” says Tiffany Thrash, GRADSA Executive Director.
Partnering with AZZIP, Lukas is the first to be employed.
After going through the interview process and being formally hired, he balances work along with school.
“It takes patience from us as business owners to look at the situation and say how can we create a better opportunity for them to learn and them to grow as individuals and kind of independent,” says Hunstman
“The purpose of GRADSA is to raise awareness of their ability because our adults with down syndrome definitely benefits the workforce,” says Thrash.
The GRADSA employment program has already partnered with Southern Stat and will be teaming up with Owensboro Parks and Recreation starting next month.
“That’s the biggest thing I think just let them have the opportunity that’s the best part about this,” says Huntsman.
While bringing positivity, hard work, and a smile on his face to work each day, Lukas says he’s enjoying his new gig.